For this latest release on the long-running Chopshop imprint, Greece-based bossman DJ Butcher has decided to flip the script. Instead of delivering cheeky disco re-edits, Dope Hip Cuts revisits the now overlooked world of classic hip-hop mash-ups. Ill Advised's excellent opener "Grunt Without The Noise", for example, expertly fixes a Public Enemy acapella to a sweaty, horn-heavy funk groove, while Captain Futuro's "Break Me Off" and "Club Warzone" turn more recent hip-hop and R&B jams into toe-tapping, head-nodding disco-meets-jazz-funk dancefloor jams. Phat Camel impresses, too, with "I Wish", which doffs a cap to Yam Who's infamous early 2000s reworks of contemporary soul, hip-hop and R&B killers.
London's Lord Of The Mics unleashes a leviathan of a compilation in the form of a selection of grimey, bleak instrumentals from the capital's usual suspects. Almost 20 tracks of high-powered, percussive-ridden urban funk by the likes of JME, Skepta and Jammer - the unofficial kings of grime and UK hip-hop - plus a whole artillery of lesser known but equally as effective artists such as Preditah and Faze Miyake. If you're into instrumental grime then this collection of tracks is pretty much essential.
Don Blackman - "Holding You Loving You" - (4:09) 79 BPM
Leroy Hutson - "Cool Out" - (2:59) 68 BPM
Zero 7 - "Truth & Rights" - (4:37) 72 BPM
The Stylistics - "People Make The World Go Round" - (6:15) 83 BPM
Late Night Tales - "Late Night Tales: Zero 7 - Another Late Night Continuous Mix" (continuous DJ mix - remastered) - (1:05:26) 91 BPM
Taken from the nocturnal stashes of Zero 7 main men Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, the 17 tracks that go into this latest instalment of the Late Night Tales series provides a fascinating mix of hip-hop, soul, dub and acoustica. Fans of Zero 7's distinctive laidback hip-hop style will certainly appreciate beats from soulmates such as Yesterday's New Quintet or The Cinematic Orchestra (as on the classic "Channel 1 Suite"), while soul hunters will go nuts for the incredible '70s jazz-funk snap of Sylvia Striplin's "You Can't Take Me Away". With other names like Souls of Mischief, Don Blackman, Slum Village and The Stylistics included, this is a perfectly crafted late night journey.
Parisian label Trad Vibe have always marched to the beat of their own bass drum, and here's a reminder of how they've lasted ten years, now at 30 releases strong. The French Evolution features 11 tracks including unreleased tunes and remixes by DJ Cam, 20syl (C2C/Hocus Pocus), Venice Beach, Lord Funk, Blanka (La fine Equipe / Juke Box Champions) as well as material from brand new artists LS Brigandes (NYC), Moar & Elodie Rama, DJ Suspect & Doc TMK and Madjir. Not bad for a label who originally released material on vinyl only.
DJ/producer duo Troo Luv and Charlie Loud aka Heartbreak Sound have a great knack of re energising hip-hop acapellas and dropping some of the finest mash-up material out there at the moment. This latest release on GAMM is an essential purchase which comes in four pieces - with D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" given a slow, nu-Philly groove, Jeru Tha Damaja's late-period hit "El Presidente" treated to a thematically-correct Cuban remake, Mos Def's "Ms Fat Booty" redone with a new, DJ Spinna-esque set of beats, and Common's classic "The Light" given a gritty make-over.
Ben Jacobs aka Crackazat (we love that name!) returns to the unstoppable Local Talk imprint with his debut LP, a spiffing thirteen tunes of chimerical oddball house in a distinctive garage flavour for party goers and heads alike. Heavy chords, mild pads and plenty of digital processing feature throughout this beauty, where tracks like "Let Love" and "Eye Light" - NY house kinda joints - blend ever so well with more broken and stranger counterparts like "Oh Pagode" or "Ambience", the latter of which is a blissfull excursion into dense and meditative soundscapes. Gorgeous!
Powerful feels from Lewisham Money man, "Originators" explores grime's purist roots with creative abandon. From the tight two-step switches on "Karate Kid" to the gritty bass bombardment of "Bait Faces" via the spacious foundation homage "2 Decks & A Mixer", this five-strong collection represents P with more clarity and confidence than anything he's ever released before. Original material.